Johnson sponsors bill to get Delta Queen back on river

From WTAP-TV: 

One step closer in the right direction to getting the Delta Queen cruising on the river once again.

It is a piece of local history and the good news is spreading around quickly.

Representative Bill Johnson co-sponsored the bill that has passed through the U.S. House to get the steamboat back up and running.

He is trying to reinstate the Delta Queen's grandfathered status, which allows the ship to carry more than 50 overnight passengers.

The local Valley Gem owner says the history of this boat dates back to the 1940's here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

"Very famous boat and I think it is the most famous of all the boats that have ever been run because it is historically significant and it was owned by the Green family, very famous steam boat family here in Newport," says Valley Gem owner Jason Sands.

Sands says having the steamboat back on these local rivers would be a dream come true.

The legislation now goes to the Senate.


Hundreds attend Jobs Fair sponsored by Johnson

Zanesville Times-Recorder
Brian Gadd

ZANESVILLE — Tyler Goins is looking for a job closer to home. Donnie Pullie is hoping to switch careers, maybe even go back to school.

The Zanesville residents were just two of the hundreds of job seekers who turned out to the Southeastern Ohio Job Fair Monday at the Ohio University-Zanesville/Zane State College Campus Center.

Officials with U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson’s office — the congressman hosted the event — had expected more than 40 vendor tables and said those companies were hiring for as many as 4,000 positions.

Included in the mix of companies was Fanatics, an online retailer of sports merchandise. Fanatics already employs nearly 700 at its Frazeysburg distribution center and is looking to bring as many as 1,000 more on to handle holiday orders.

oins drives to Groveport almost every day for work at a Gap store, so he’s hopeful something will pan out locally for him. Getting some face-time with the dozens of employers on hand for the event is just the start.

“It’s an opportunity to see what’s available, what I might be interested in, so it’s a little of both,” Goins said.

Pullie said he wants to put his fast-food job behind him.

“I’d like to switch jobs either that or go back to school,” Pullie said, noting he was interested in Fanatics. But he also spent some time chatting with a representative from Performance Training Solutions. “I visited a few I was interested in, and I liked hearing about some of the programs for heavy equipment operating.”

Ohio Means Jobs Muskingum County Director Bob Mercer, one of the partner agencies that helped bring the event together, said events such as the job fair and an upcoming oil and gas expo are an effort to provide more one-on-one opportunities between job seekers and prospective employers.

“We’ve got the work force, and through these events, we can try to get the information out not only about the companies but the type of training opportunities that are out there and what these companies are looking for,” Mercer said.

Congressman Johnson said he wanted to bring employers and job seekers together in the same room to maximize the opportunity for both, and that was not lost on Angel Wade and Bobbi Rambo, both of Dresden.

As single moms and current students, it’s hard to keep up with the kids, schoolwork and still put feelers out for jobs, they said.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out what is out there, maybe learn a few things you didn’t know about some of these companies,” Wade said.

“And we’re able to hit more than one company, instead of wasting gas running back and forth to all of these places,” Rambo added. “We’re both single moms, and it’s just great we can come in here between classes and get some ideas.”

Johnson said he felt it was a great turnout and he was glad to speak with several of the job seekers.

“Muskingum County and all of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio has a qualified, hard working, and ready-to-go work force — many folks just need the right opportunity,” Johnson said. 


Johns earns "Champion of Seniors" Award

From the Jackson County Daily -  

National Grange and Local Organizations Present Rep. Johnson with “Summer 2013 Champion of Seniors Award”

MARIETTA– Congressman Bill Johnson was presented this week with the “Summer 2013 Champion of Seniors Award" by The Grange, a national, nonpartisan grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of America's rural seniors.

“Rep. Johnson has exhibited outstanding leadership in Congress to protect Medicare and ensure access to affordable prescription medicines and health care choices for seniors. He has definitely earned this award and deserves our thanks,” said Grace Boatright, Legislative Director for The National Grange.

Criteria for the “Summer 2013 Champion of Seniors Award” included:

1. Exhibiting outstanding leadership in Congress to protect Medicare, which is critical to millions of American seniors and their families.

2. Opposing across the board cuts made by unelected boards.

3. Ensuring access to affordable prescription medicines for seniors through the Medicare Part D program and opposing any efforts to implement price controls or similar measures that would lead to increases in premiums for seniors.

4. Demonstrating a continued commitment to protect the doctor/patient relationship for seniors and opposing any efforts that might weaken it in any way.

5. Preserving a vast selection of health care options for seniors so that they may choose the best plan for themselves and their families.

6. Representing senior constituents with individual issues before government agencies so that they receive the benefits and services they have earned.

7. Supporting government services and necessary funding for senior programs in the Representative’s district.

According to Grange, Johnson’s efforts to protect the health benefits and security of Ohio’s seniors and citizens with disabilities also made him deserving of this recognition.

Rep. Johnson was presented the award during a meeting at the Betsey Mills House in Marietta, along with representatives from local organizations including:

· Jo Ann Ingram – Waterford Grange #231, Pomona Grange President

· David Brightbill – WashingtonMorgan CAC

· Steve Smith –Memorial Health System

· Rick Hindman, Jr. – Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District

· Dr. Dixie Vaughan – Dean of Health Technologies - Washington State Community College

“We rely on legislators of Congressman Johnson’s caliber and influence to support programs such as the Older Americans Act, that provide urgently needed services to seniors,” said Rick D. Hindman, Jr., Assistant Executive Director, Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District. “Due to cuts in the program, we are at the point where agencies such as ours can no longer absorb those cuts and must pass them on to the detriment of the services that are desperately needed. We appreciate Congressman Johnson’s continued support of the Older Americans Act whose programs keep folks out of the high-cost institutional settings and saves taxpayer dollars.”